Building Stamina in Reading


In our reading class we’ve been talking about building stamina as readers. We decided that having stamina means being able to do one thing for a long time. It’s something that takes a lot of practice, because no one has a lot of stamina when something is new to them. Just like an athlete, a reader builds up stamina over time.

We have some sixth graders who come to help us in our reading class, and we have noticed that they have great reading stamina. Yesterday while they were reading we took a time lapse video of them, using the Motion Pictures app on an iPad.  What you see in this video is actually 20 minutes of reading condensed into 18 seconds (some third graders from our class are sitting with them at the beginning).

6th Grade Readers from S Hamman on Vimeo.

After they left we watched the video and talked about what we noticed. Here are our comments:

  • They didn’t look up from their books, even when the door opened and closed.
  • They didn’t talk to each other or show each other pictures from their books, they just kept their eyes on the pages.
  • They each stayed with one book the whole time, they didn’t switch books every few minutes.
  • They didn’t get distracted for the whole 20 minutes.
  • They are great role models for us!

The next day, we decided to make our own stop motion video. We read independently for 30 minutes. Our groups rotated during that time, but we were supposed to keep reading. How do you think we did?

3rd Grade Readers from S Hamman on Vimeo.

When we watched our video we decided that we were doing pretty well at building our stamina, but we still need to practice every day if we hope to be as good as the sixth graders.

We thought of three tips for other kids who are trying to get stronger as readers.

1. Make a good choice when you choose a book to read so you’ll want to keep reading it. Choose books that seem interesting to you.

2. Stick with one book even if it’s a little bit hard to read. You can’t tell if you’ll like it if you give up too quickly.

3. Think about what you are reading so you don’t get distracted.

Do you have any other tips for increasing your reading stamina?


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